Before you hit the gym for your next studio class, follow our series with pilates instructor, studio owner, and stretch specialist Erika Bloom. She's breaking down the moves that'll help your body recover after a workout--and keep you in prime condition for your next sweat sesh.
Whether you're an avid Flywheel devotee or prefer to tap it back at SoulCycle each week, there's something you should keep in mind once you step off your stationary bike. "Taking a cycling class means spending half an hour or more rounded over a bike with your hips in flexion," explains Bloom. "You should counter this by opening your front body and working your back and hips in extension." That means get ready to hit the mat for these floor stretches that'll help to realign your bod.
Lie on your stomach. Extend your right arm overhead onto the mat. Deepen your abdominals towards your spine as you bend your left knee. Reach your left arm back to hold your left ankle. Feel the opening of the left shoulder. Press your hips into the mat as you engage your left glute and hamstring to reach the knee away, deepening into the stretch.
Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Connect your hands to the mat to pull your spine forward and up into a long, low arch. Your lower back should stay supported and lengthened and your shoulders should stay soft and wide so that you are finding the arch in your upper back. In immersive cycling you may often find yourself in your rounded cycling position and lifting your head to look at the screens which shortens the back of your neck. In your mini cobra be sure to counter this shortening by keeping your neck lengthened as though the tips of your ears are reaching away from your toes. Hold the position as you inhale deeply for 3 breaths. Perform 3 reps.
Lie on your stomach with your hands under your forehead. Engage your low abdominals and connect your pelvis into the mat. In parallel, reach out through your left toes to float the left leg off the mat. Lower the leg and repeat the lift on the opposite leg. Keep your spine reaching long as you keep switching for 20 reps.